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Center Staff

Research Scholar and Research Administrator Kenneth Knapp, Ph.D., is assistant professor in in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the New York Medical College School of Health Sciences and Practice. An economist and gerontologist, Dr. Knapp’s current research interests include the health benefits of Taijiquan; the implications for healthcare, family caregiving and long-term care of aging and longevity; and the health effects of “non-healthcare” sectors such as housing and labor markets. He was an original member of the interdisciplinary research team at the International Longevity Center, a nonprofit think-tank lead by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and geriatrician Robert N. Butler. Dr. Knapp previously served as visiting assistant professor in the Master of Health Administration program at Seton Hall University, and is currently senior associate for the non-profit China America Living Arts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of traditional and contemporary Chinese and cross-cultural arts through education and research. Dr. Knapp earned a Ph.D. in economics from the Graduate School at the City University of New York, completing his dissertation under the advisement of noted health economist Michael Grossman. Dr. Knapp has taught a wide variety of economics and public policy courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Click HERE for more information about Dr. Kenneth Knapp.

Research Scholar Pedro Laureano, Ph.D., is assistant professor in in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the New York Medical College School of Health Sciences and Practice.  Dr. Laureano has more than 25 years of experience working with diverse populations and coordinating, administering and directing a variety of cross-sectional and longitudinal research studies. He has also been devoted to providing direct social and mental health services in at-risk communities in New York City. His background in social work, the human services, and mental health research has infused in him a strong appreciation for the importance of viewing individuals in the context of their social environment and the biopsychosocial forces that shape their lives and the decisions they make. Prior to coming to NYMC, Dr. Laureano was the Director of a SAMHSA-funded initiative to integrate primary and behavioral health care at New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center in Brooklyn, where he also served as an administrator of one of its Child and Family Mental Health Centers. Dr. Laureano previously served also as Project Director in the Child Psychiatric Epidemiology Group of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University-NYSPI, directing a variety of mental health evaluation studies including study of children with serious emotional disorders receiving coordinated service delivery in Westchester County and New York City.  Dr. Laureano was also instrumental in the development of two federally-funded studies aimed at exploring the effects of maternal and paternal incarceration on children.  Dr. Laureano received his doctoral degree in social work at Fordham University. Click HERE for more information about Dr. Pedro Laureano.

Research Scholar Tina Maschi, PhD, LCSW, ACSW is an associate professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Her scholarly pursuits are in the area of life course trauma on later life health and well-being, especially among older adults involved in the criminal justice system. She is the 2010 recipient of the Geriatric Social Work Faculty Award for a mixed methods study examining cumulative trauma, coping, and well-being among older adults in prison, including those with serious physical and mental illnesses. Dr. Maschi has published over 70 peer reviewed publications and has presented at numerous national and international conferences.  She is lead author of the text, Social Worker as Researcher: Integrating Research with Advocacy. Dr. Maschi has over 20 years of research and practice experience in correctional health and mental health care, working with community agencies with diverse populations. She is executive director of the Be the Evidence Project and president of the National Organization of Forensic Social Work. You can read more about her work at  Dr. Maschi may be contacted at

Research Scholar Qiuhu Shi, Ph.D., is professor and Director of Biostatistics in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health at New York Medical College's School of Health Sciences and Practice. Dr. Shi's primary research interests include clinical trial design, planning and analysis, as well as statistical methodological research in building and testing prediction models in public health. He has co-authored over 70 articles in public health or clinical trial studies, been a statistician or co-investigator in many NIH grants, reviewed clinical papers for numerous journals, and taught graduate level biostatistics courses for more than 15 years. Click HERE for more information about Dr. Qiuhu Shi.

Research Scholar Deborah Viola, Ph.D., is Director of Health Services Research and Data Analytics at the Center for Regional Healthcare Innovation at Westchester Medical Center, and Senior Lecturer for the DrPH program at New York Medical College. Dr. Viola is an economist whose current research includes the effects of home-delivered meals programs among frail, isolated NYC residents; a study of the relationship between income support programs and health among children and communities; prisoner health and social justice; and the long term care needs of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dr. Viola sits on several community boards, including the Bergen County Board of Social Services, where she is the Secretary and Treasurer. She earned a Ph.D. in economics from the Graduate School at the City University of New York as a Robert E. Gilleece fellow.